Successful people are able to get more done and are very efficient. But what is it that gives them that edge? Here are 10 top tips to help increase your efficiency:
- Know your destination – what are you aiming for? Without a clear vision of the big picture and the ultimate destination for your business (or indeed your life!) then you will aimlessly amble around without direction and purpose. Make your ‘end in mind’ as clear and as detailed as possible and this will then dictate your direction and day to day activities.
- Know your vision (your overview of your destination), your mission (what you do and why), your values (what you stand for, what is important to you) and your success (how you will know you are successful and have achieved what you set out to do?). These will be your ‘non-negotiables’ and your strategic intent as you work towards your goals.
- Set goals and objectives, both long-term (5-10 years or more) and short term (quarterly or annual). Your daily, weekly, monthly and yearly activities should be aligned to making these things happen. Make your goals your own, make them clear and as detailed as possible, inspiring and motivating as well as measurable so that you can check you have achieved them.
- Make your goals SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time measured otherwise your goals will be too general, have no time set for completion and not be motivating enough to make them actually happen.
- Visualise your success by painting a picture in your mind of you having achieved all you have planned and dreamed of. Athletes do this by visualising winning and the feeling they will have when standing on the podium with their medal. When you are visualising, close your eyes, imagine how it will feel, what you will look like, what your life will be like, who will be in your life and what you will own or have to show for your plans.
- When working on your day to day tasks think about what is important/not important, what is urgent/not urgent. Try to work on important, not urgent tasks (your plans) and totally avoid any not urgent not important tasks (good time-fillers for procrastinators!).
- Spend a day or so analysing how you use your time. Are there obvious areas where you are wasting it? For example watching TV when you could be having quality family time, doing chores when you have an important phone call to make. Once you have found out what you waste your time on start a schedule for the week of when things need to happen and for how long. For example, only check emails for half an hour three times a day to cut down distractions. You can also easily schedule in things you don’t normally have time for like reading and exercising.
- The fine art of delegation is well worth developing, especially for those tasks that you hate! Get a book-keeper to do your accounts, a cleaner to do your cleaning, a secretary to arrange travel, deal with correspondence etc. Many of your helpers can actually be remote workers and self-employed so you don’t have the extra burden of employing them directly. This gives you more time to do what you do best. Even for a fairly new start-up you can delegate so that you can concentrate on income generation and not have to get bogged down with the tedious jobs that others will actually enjoy doing for you! It is a win-win for both of you!
- Using the 80/20 or Perieto Principle is an excellent way to become more efficient. Work only on those 20% of customers/products/services that give you the 80% returns. Have a review of what generates the most cash for the least time or effort and concentrate on doing them more, and the time-wasting stuff less.
- Work on yourself and enhancing your skills more than you do on your job. Read motivational, inspirational and instructional books to help you develop. For procrastination read ‘Eat that Frog’ by Brian Tracey, for fear and paralysis read ‘Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway’ by Susan Jeffers. For our top 10 motivational books see our bookshop.
By being more efficient you will have more time to do the things you love and to start working towards achieving your dreams!